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Sullygram...January 2013 newsletter
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Author:  Thomas (Sully) Sullivan [ Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Sullygram...January 2013 newsletter

The wide window above my couch shows only first-run features every night. Moon-made lightning shimmers toward me across the lake surface in summer, and in winter each snowflake dances purposefully, as if miming some message in its slow motion fall. Spring storms are talkative (rain is just noisy snow). Not so autumn leaves, which chatter like the rain and dance like the snow. But the seasons I spend at that window with my elbows on the sill of infinity are more than just raptures with the cosmos. They are the melders of memories and meanings in my life.

I’m always interested in what “meanings” other people see through their windows. Do they see mostly what they desire…or what they fear? So many seem to scale back their lives rather than risk disappointment. They shrink to fit someone else’s shadow, or they simply live “alone” in the middle of a relationship. Or they relate to surrogates – something to care for. Something that cares for them and – they hope – understands them, even if it’s just a pet. Would they recognize their dream if it suddenly appeared in their window? It is perhaps the most difficult thing in life to find a match between someone else’s insight and empathy and our own depth of thought, communication and passion.

Me, I’m not someone who inspires sympathy, and God help the person who tries to understand me through all the premises I’ve challenged about life and society. That said, I know what my dream looks like. But I still have a pet – well, an avatar (no, not my imaginary pet rat Harlow). Do you have a sense of what four-legged mammal you would have been, if you were another species? Or what bird? I think I would’ve been a wolverine (or an eagle). Sure, sure, snicker and nod – lots of negative labels there – but hey, the labels hide behind misperceptions…which is kinda the point of identity for me.

30 lb wolverines have incredible energy and will face down a grizzly or a wolf or cougar or take down a moose. Very illusive, they are called “phantoms.” They love freedom and the males have huge ranges. They climb, run, swim – as far as I know they don’t ski, but their feet are like snowshoes that can climb mountains in extreme cold at relentless speed. In deep snows a wolverine can cover 20 miles a day, 4 miles an hour up or down any terrain. Virtual furnaces, they love winter and are so well-insulated with fur that they don’t even melt snow when they lie in it. Wolverines never hibernate but survive winters off animals buried in avalanches (detecting them as much as 20 feet down) and will eat everything, including bones, fangs, skulls. Little understood, their habits seem to vary with individuals and though they like to live alone some are known to form life-time mating relationships. Contrary to myth, they are as playful as otters and have mysterious and unfathomable senses.

WARNING: explicit photos below. If you feel a sudden longing in your soul when you look at them, you may have a wild wolverine gene somewhere in your DNA. Photo guide: 1-3 sunset ski at Elm Creek; 4 stepping through my front door on Christmas Eve; 5-6 Christmas with the lad Shane; 7-10 night skiing on lit and unlit trails. And I keep forgetting to include Blast from the Past photos, so here are two – #11 my grandfather who was a Great Lakes Captain for 42 years and me probably around age 7; and #12 my mother’s childhood home. I knew streets were named after my mother’s family, and I’d heard that luminaries and movie stars graced their table, but I was shocked to come across the photo of what looks to be a Victorian mansion.

Note: if this is a mirror site and you don't see photos, you can find all Sullygrams archived on my author's web page>Sullygrams & Columns. My webmaster Ed Picard in California usually has the latest one up within a day.

Thank you for your latest questions which are front and center this month in my column titled, REJECTING REJECTION, SKINNY SKIING GANGNAM STYLE & SARAH McLACHLAN. You gave me a nice range of Qs, but the one that plays large is about how to handle rejection both personal and career. It’s all available at this link: http://storytellersunplugged.com/thomas ... n/#respond

The fresh winter landscape here in Maple Grove is ER for the soul. My theory is you won’t live in this state unless you have certain character virtues like self-reliance, resourcefulness, self-discipline, honesty and what’s called “Minnesota nice.” A committee made up of Paul Bunyan, a yeti and two Lutheran ministers checks out all applicants. I’m an import, which explains why I have none of those virtues. But I like challenges that hone body/mind/spirit as one, so they gave me a conditional permit to live here, subject to annual review. January is renewal. January is when Minnesota and moi first exchanged our vows. I look forward to the white landscape as if it is a clean blank page waiting for me to renew my pledge, so please excuse me while I go write on it with skis and snowshoes…

Thomas “Sully” Sullivan


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